Sometimes a person has found or designed the perfect product, or they have a skill or talent that they could use to deliver an amazing service. These products or services have the potential to become the perfect basis for a business idea. However, the major factor that prevents women from using these business ideas and transforming them into a successful business is a lack of money. One option is to take out a business loan, but these often have high interest and this adds an additional element of stress for someone who is trying to launch their business as they have then made a financial commitment to pay back the loan. Another option is to apply for a business grant and there are some that have been specifically designed to help women start their own business. Here are five of the best business grants aimed at women entrepreneurs.
1. Halstead Grant
Halstead is a wholesale jewelry supplier, so their grant is specifically aimed at women starting a jewelry business. The application process is simple, with a range of both short-answer and long-answer types of questions. The deadline for applications is usually at the beginning of August. The winner of this grant is awarded $7,500. Halstead will also give them a $1,000 voucher to spend with their company. These are not the only perks of winning this grant as the successful applicant is also treated to a trip to their headquarters in Arizona and will win a trophy. If you have a creative business that would make good use of the materials, then this is a grant for which it is well worth applying.
2. InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge
This is a grant for businesses that are run by either a man or a woman, but that are delivering innovative products or services that have a positive impact on women and their families. They are looking specifically for businesses that empower women in some way. If you are the lucky winner of this grant, there is big cash at stake. The first placed business receives a grant of $70,000. It is even worth finishing in second or third place as the prize money is $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. Unlike some grants, there are no application fees to enter and the application form is quick and simple to complete.
3. Girlboss Foundation Grant
GThis grant is awarded twice a year. It is aimed at female entrepreneurs who are passionate about achieving their dreams. This grant honors forward-planning and has awarded previous grants to those in industries including music, the arts, fashion, and design. The winners are chosen by Sophia Amoruso and her committee. The prize is twofold as the winner receives a cash prize of $15,000 and will also get exposure for their business through various Girlboss channels. It is free to apply for this grant and simply involves completing an application form giving basic details about yourself and your planned business.
4. The Amber Grant
The Amber Grant is awarded once a month and the lucky winner receives $1,000. Once a year, the judges evaluate the 12 monthly winners form the past year and select one winner from these who receives a further $9,000. They are looking for people who are passionate about the type of business they are, regardless of the industry. Although there is a $15 application fee, applying is simple and just involves completing a short form about your business and what your intentions are if you win the money.
5. Idea Café Small Business Grants
Unlike the other grants mentioned on this list, this grant is not specifically for women. It is simply aimed at small business startups. However, it is worth mentioning as many of the previous winners of the grant have been women. One example of a former winner is Brittany Buonocore who won the grant for her business Flour and Salt Bakery in 2016. She started the business as a small bakery located in Hamilton, New York. She is using the grant to contribute to the costs of expanding her business to storefront premises. The people who choose who should win this grant are looking for businesses that provide a creative solution to an everyday problem. With prize money of $1,000, this is one of the smaller grants available, but every little will help.